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Onion Prices Likely to Remain Firm till Diwali

Chintu Das
Chintu Das

Onion prices are expected to remain steady till Diwali, traders said, as the vegetable rate in the metros, including Delhi and Mumbai, hovered around Rs 60 per kg, driven higher by speculation that crop damage caused by unseasonably wet weather might hamper supplies.

Prices of tomatoes and vegetables such as cabbage and bottle gourd have risen in tandem with onions, as heavy moisture has harmed crop quality. Traders predict that weather will continue to be a major effect on onion prices until December, when the arrival of the fresh crop is expected to be at its height.

"There is a great deal of ambiguity." If the weather continues to be a hindrance, costs may rise much more. However, if we get good weather, prices might be constant until Diwali,” said HS Bhalla, an onion dealer from the Azadpur APMC (agricultural produce marketing committee) in Delhi.

The benchmark Lasalgaon market in Nashik district, which is now the largest supplier of onions to Delhi, has seen wholesale onion prices more than doubled in the last month.

The average wholesale price at Lasalgaon market jumped by 120 percent when compared to Rs 14.75 per kg on September 16 and then reached Rs 33.40 per kg on October 16.

Onion prices rose from Rs 10 per kg on September 8 to Rs 35 per kg on October 13 at the Bengaluru APMC.

Average prices have risen from Rs 8.50 per kg on September 16 to Rs 14.50 per kg on October 16 at the Hubali market in north Karnataka, where the kharif onion crop is being harvested.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs has begun releasing onions from buffer stock in states where prices are higher than the national average. According to a press release from the ministry, 67,357 tonnes of the 208,000 tonnes of buffer stock established for 2021-22 had been released as of October 12.

"Over the last several days, onion prices have dropped by Rs 3-4 per kg. Prices can stay constant at current levels if there is no further rain in the coming days," said Ajit Shah, head of the Onion Exporters' Association. Onion demand is still low, according to traders, which has kept prices from skyrocketing.

"Onion demand is decreasing. Along with Maharashtra and Karnataka, there are also concerns regarding the onion crop in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, which might preclude any significant price reductions,” Bhalla added.

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